If you are a day over 10, you would understand that life doesn’t always go as planned. Naively enough, most of us always think that life goes on smoothly with very minimal challenges especially if you make the “right” choices. But as you grow older, you begin to understand that life really is just a series of challenges waiting to be conquered no matter what your choices are.
There may be some down time when life seems perfect but before you know it, you’re up and running head on against life’s realities. And while I agree that our crosses may be different, the pain we feel through each one makes us empathize with one another and this is why stories of triumph always encourage us to hope despite life’s toughest circumstances.
Such is the story of Marjorie Liwag. From the surface, one would think that Marj is your typical 20-something embarking on the exciting career of calligraphy and teaching.
One of the propellers of beautiful handwriting in the country, Marjorie has gained attention for her beautiful creations which have been a source of encouragement and hope. However, what most people don’t know is that behind her compelling work of art lies a story of triumph in the face of tragedy.
In 2014 after spending time with a few friends, Marjorie’s life changed dramatically when she was taken advantage of by a group of men. She did not drink the whole night to protect herself and yet a pill that was viciously put in her drink made her unconscious and unable to fight back against the assault.
While she initially felt shamed about the situation, she decided to seek for help after six months to begin her process of healing, “It all began with a prayer that led to me seeking spiritual help. I filed a case and lost but I realized that it was in my power to forgive and trust God to overcome and fight for me.”
When asked how she overcame the devastating situation, she gave all the glory to God, “It wasn’t easy and there was a point that I wanted to end by life. However, when I began to choose Jesus every day by surrendering to him, that’s where inner healing truly began. Jesus reminded me that He loves me, He reminded that purity is something He gave me and nobody could take it away from me. He changed my heart towards the incident and He assured me that He will use it for his glory.”
It was through this enlightenment that she turned to arts and crafts as a way of sharing about her pain, “I am just thankful for life and I just feel redeemed every single way. It is through my work as a full time calligraphy artist where I cater to many brands and advocacies is what helps me find my purpose. Through my work, I am privileged to inspire others and encourage them that they too can overcome.”
Her exemplary work leaves no trace of bitterness or anger, “What separates my identity from what has happened to me is that – I am not what has been done to me and my ability to forgive by God’s grace. The moment I surrendered myself to Christ, my heart of stone slowly changed. A heart that was once filled with grudge and vengeance was turned to a heart that desires to forgive. I could share my story in a manner wherein people do not even see a trace that I am hurt or experienced such tragedy only by God’s grace.”
When asked to share what kind of advice she can give to those who have experienced pain, she shares her words through a letter:
Dear Courageous Soul,
First of all, I would love to express my gratitude for you trying to survive in every way you can. Thank you for striving to be the best despite those who doubt you or blame you for what happened to you. Thank you for courageously seeking help.
The world is indeed a cruel place but please, do not stop trusting people around you. Please do not doubt the people around you. Please do not doubt the beauty this world has for you just because of men who are selfish. Please continue to see the beauty this world has to offer. Just be cautious and careful.
Probably, at some point you felt worthless, dirty and impure. But, please do not. Do not allow such tragedy to define you in a bad way. Seek help from Someone who is Infinite enough to understand you, Someone who is infinite enough to love you and accept you for who you are. And Someone who can change your heart.
To end this letter, I want to encourage you that God’s definition of purity is different from how we define it. Yes, the world was able to steal that innocence that you’ve been taking good care of and you want to give to the right person. But God promised us with a renewed heart and soul. I pray that you will surrender that broken heart and soul to Him alone, tell Him how painful it is. Come to Him, and He will give you rest; He will give you a brand new heart, soul and identity. Yes, in the world’s eyes you are that person who was wrecked but in His eyes you are precious – and that is how purity is.
I love you and God loves you even more.
To learn more about Marjorie, follow her on Instagram @LittleMsPrinter
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